Donut Mind the Gap (Hole)… Focus on the Lemon Curd

As anyone who has played a MMO knows, in addition to questing, there is often a crafting element where you collect materials to make items. Similarly, the DonutQuest is not just about searching for the best donut shoppes, but also crafting/making donuts!

 

food wars

Inspiration comes from many sources.  Shokugeki No Soma (also known as Food Wars) is a blend of anime and Alton Brown as the show talks about chemistry, origins and other food facts.  In this particular episode (Note: Can be seen on Crunchyroll), the older Aldini Brother uses lemon curd in his dessert during his culinary battle!  Lemon curd has British origins and I’ve made it before for tart filling.

Base Baked Cake Donut Recipe:

1.5 Cup Flour*

0.5 Cup Sugar

1.5 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Melted Stick of Butter (4 oz or 8 Tablespoons)

0.75 Cup Milk*

1 Egg (Large)

Splash of Vanilla (or whatever flavoring that you want)

Before mixing everything together for the final batter, it is important to whisk the egg and sugar first (I call it “whitening the eggs” or “creaming the eggs” but I’m not sure if this is the correct culinary term.)

*I think using Cake Flour and Buttermilk will make the donuts fluffier (e.g., less dense).

Lemon Curd Ingredients:

2 Lemons (Zest and Juice)

4 oz Butter (1 Stick)

6 oz Sugar

2 eggs

My friend Ashley, a hand model (seriously, her hands were photographed for some work propaganda, err… brochure), helped me test the donuts at work.  I have to make the donuts at night for people to try the next day so I have to account for refrigeration and transport.

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Ashley then microwaved the donut for about to 5-8 seconds and the taste was markedly improved!

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The big batch for the gym…

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In the future, I should really inject the lemon curd as a filling… that being said, I’ll probably use the extra curd as filling for crepes!

Randomly, the Aldini Brothers from Food Wars introduced me to an Italian kitchen knife known as a mezzaluna!

 

Coffee Meets Donut – Date at Duck Donuts

I got a match on the dating app called “Coffee Meets Bagel” whose owners turned down $30 million dollars from Mark Cuban (yeah, that basketball guy) on Shark Tank!  I decided to go on a “Coffee Meets Donut” Date.  I thought that it was a pretty creative idea… well, at least punny…

There’s a Vietnamese saying…

Đen tình, đỏ bạc.

  • Translation: Black in love, Red in gamble
  • English equivalent: Lucky at cards, unlucky in love

Hmm… I’m not an expert in Vietnamese, in love, or in money… but I’ll go with my Quinnism of…

“Money doesn’t buy happiness but it sure helps.”

Back to the Kang Sisters of Coffee Meets Bagel… what was going through their minds to turn down that kinda money from Mark Cuban?  Well, the Kang Sisters, if I recall, have some serious credentials like Harvard degrees and working with/for big companies in executive positions.  For all intents and purposes, I’m pretty sure that the Kang Sisters were doing OK so they could afford to go for the “home run.”

Getting back to my date, prior to meeting up for our Zeroth Date (I consider online dating an introductory service; so the Zeroth Date is really where you determine if you want to go on a First Date if that makes sense.), we talked about donuts and she mentioned Gourdough’s (hey, I’ve been there too!).  A “Donut Date” seemed like something different to do so I asked her to go to Duck Donuts in Rockville, MD.

Yada yada… (Seinfeld watchers will get this allusion).  Well, at least I learned that at Franklin’s BBQ you can order it to go and they will vacuum seal it to take on a plane.  Every time I’ve been to Austin (love that city), I never could get up early enough to get in line for BBQ!  Furthermore, she was an asian girl with freckles so that was pretty unique.  I always try to look at the positive and unique value of people so I asked her out again and she “donut” wanted to.  So for all you daters out there… my advice is to consider the unique value of people… not just the numbers game!

Duck Donuts

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Duck Donuts uses a vanilla cake as the base for their donuts.  It comes out warm and hot like Krispy Kreme (when the light is on).  PSA – caramelizing sugar (much like superheated steam) is very dangerous!   Latent heat requires more energy to cause a phase change of a substance (breaking of bonds between molecules) than sensible heat which is what we experience temperature-wise when cold beer becomes hot and hot pizza becomes cold.  At a power plant, a steam leak is often detected by a whistling sound and workers walk around with broomsticks in front of them for detection to prevent getting sliced in half by the invisible steam.  Yes, contrary to Hollywood Movies, when you are the Terminator or Freddy Kreuger walking through the Boiler Room… you can’t “see” steam when it’s this hot.

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I talked to Gene at the counter… He said…

Most popular among kids – Cinnamon Sugar.  Hey, maximize the sugar hit!

Most popular among women – Lemon Icing with Shredded Coconut (Did I hear him right?  Ladies, is this true?  I guess it’s like a Pina Colada?)

Most popular among men – Maple Icing with Bacon Pieces. Obviously.

I went with Chocolate Icing with Raspberry Drizzle (left) and I got my date Blueberry Icing with Salted Caramel (right).  I always liked those chocolate boxes where the lid had the different chocolate flavors (the raspberry filling one) to help you decide which piece to eat.  For her, I made my selection based on Ted’s Bulletin’s famous poptarts.

As Forrest Gump would say, “Life is like a box of chocolates which is like which is like a box of donuts which is like online dating, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

 

Rating:

  1. Blue Star Donuts (I went here and remember that the Chocolate Basil was amazing.  Note: I like slight hints of spicy/savory in my desserts.)
  2. DaVinci’s Donuts (Smaller portions don’t lead to a big sugar crash and there are unique gourmet flavors!)
  3. Gourdough’s (They make everything BIGGER in Texas, including DONUTS!)
  4. Voodoo Donuts (Probably the first best donut I ever had.  It was a Maple Bacon Bar.
  5. Duck Donuts (Superior to Krispy Kreme/Dunkin Donuts but you’re just getting a blast of sugar… there isn’t anything that really make it unique.)

Top 4  are what I consider the “Elite” tier.. if you’re in that town, you should go to that donut shoppe!